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Sports Digest: Decision time for 'Svennis'

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10:27 CEST+02:00
Sports digest is The Local's weekly look at what's making the news in Swedish sport.

Football

Manchester City's possible new owner Thaksin Shinawatra has his eyes on other managers for the club should talks with former England boss Sven Göran Eriksson founder.

The Swede, who stood down from the England job after last summer's World Cup and has been without a job since then, is the former Thai Prime Minister's first choice to succeed Stuart Pearce should his takeover bid succeed.

But Thaksin has other options according to the man brokering the deal on his behalf, Keith Harris, the executive chairman of Seymour Pierce Investment Bank.

"It is for Sven to look at the opportunities which present themselves to him," he said.

Harris added that a decision would be made this week.

***

With the summer break fast approaching, the Swedish title race is still almost as open as it was at the beginning of the season. Title holders Elfsborg lead the field but seventh placed Gefle are just three points behind the boys from Borås.

Eighth placed Hammarby have played a game less than most of their main rivals and remain well in contention with a 2-0 midweek win over Djurgården.

Elfsborg are expected to extend their lead when they entertain basement side Brommapojkarna on Monday evening.

***

In transfer news, Bundesliga side VfL Bochum have added Swedish defender Matias Concha to their squad after the 27-year-old signed a four-year contract, it was announced on Thursday.

The four-times capped right-back made the switch from Swedish first division side Djurgården.

"Matias Concha is one of the main candidates for the right-back position in the Swedish national side," said Bochum director Stefan Kuntz.

"He is a battler who has proved himself to us with his ability and character."

The defender will play his last game for Djurgården on July 2nd and will join the Bochum squad the following day.

***

Elsewhere, Wigan have made Swedish defender Andreas Granqvist's loan move from Helsingborg permanent after persuading the 22-year-old to sign a two-year deal.

Latics manager Chris Hutchings said: "There was a lot of interest in Andreas, which is why I wanted to get this done quickly.

"He has got bags of potential and the ability to make a real impact.

"He's good technically, he's strong and powerful and has pace, now it's up to us to make sure we harness that potential and turn him into a Premier League regular."

Granqvist, who made just one appearance during his loan spell as Wigan battled to survive in the top flight, added: "To play in England has always been a dream for me, and I am thrilled to have sorted out the move.

"I really like the atmosphere at the club and I feel I learned a lot from being involved last season. I feel I can now push and challenge for a regular first team place next season. I get on really well with the manager and I am very optimistic about the future now.

"I can't wait to get back and start challenging for my place."

Tennis

Björn Borg will be rooting for Roger Federer to level his record of five successive Wimbledon titles.

The Swede won five-in-a-row at the All England Club from 1976-1980 and Federer, already with four under his belt, is the overwhelming favourite to equal the mark and eventually better Pete Sampras's all-time best of seven.

"I think and hope that Roger will equal my record this year - it could not happen to a better person," Borg told AFP.

"He has achieved so many great things in tennis and if he stays clear of injuries, stays motivated and continues at the same pace as he is doing, he will definitely be the greatest player of all time.

"This year is going to mean a lot to Roger to equal my record to win for the fifth time so he's going to be more even more focused and concentrated to try to defend his title."

Borg was 25, the same age as Federer, when he quit tennis but the Swiss world number one is nowhere near leaving behind the sport that, with the glaring exception of the French Open, he has dominated with 10 Grand Slam titles already collected.

Borg's personal and professional life went into a tailspin after he walked away from the game 26 years ago.

"I lost my motivation a little bit in 1981," he told the BBC on Monday.

"I still played good tennis but I didn't have the same focus that I had for many years. I always gave 100 percent and loved to win and hated to lose but if you lose that little bit of an edge it is very difficult to do well.

"Something was missing and for me as a person that is not right."

Golf

Sweden's Niclas Fasth saw off German veteran Bernhard Langer to win the BMW International title in Munich on Sunday. Langer was bidding to become the oldest winner in European Tour history.

Fasth, now closing on a place in the world's top 20, said after capturing his sixth Tour title with a par at the last for a 70 and 13-under total: "I made a mistake by not looking at leaderboards until the 15th.

"I was very tired all week and wanted to keep my energy, but I need my fiery excitement and when I saw that Bernhard was only one behind it got me going.

"I holed three good putts on the next three greens and won, but I have to say how impressed I was by Bernhard, especially considering his first round. That's the stuff of champions."

Langer, who was joined in the runners-up spot when Portugal's Jose-Filipe Lima birdied the last, stated: "It's fantastic playing in front of your home crowd - some of the roars were so big I almost got goosebumps."

AFP/The Local

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